Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Born Alive Infant Protection Needs to be Protected


Until a whistle-blower blew the lid off a little-known practice, babies that survived abortions lacked clear legal rights and protection. Jill Stanek, once a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL, entered the abortion battle in 1999 when she discovered that babies that “accidentally” survived abortions were placed in a closet and left to die. In 2000 and 2001 she testified about her experience to the US House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution on behalf of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

Her credible eye-witness testimony thrust this practice before lawmakers and helped pass a federal law defining that a baby who is born alive is in fact a person deserving respect. She now faces the challenge of ensuring that this law is enforced.

Stanek’s public stance eventually cost her job at Christ Hospital, but their loss was the pro-life community’s gain. She is currently an activist, columnist and blogger (http://www.jillstanek.com/).

Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) and it was signed by President Bush in 2002. More than 30 states had already passed similar measures beforehand.

But legislation is just empty words without enforcement.

A little research renders stories of breathing infants being smothered in biohazard bags or refusal by clinic workers to administer emergency care as in the case of baby Rowan. Both of these situations occurred after the passage of the Act and there are no doubt countless other violations of BAIPA that have gone unreported.

Why does this barbaric activity continue? One answer lies in the legislation itself. BAIPA lacks penalties for violations. Thankfully, there are possible avenues for enforcement. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have been charged with this task. More

By: Marian L. Ward
Source: Concerned Women for America
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